As an illustration for missions fundraising, one brother involved in training nationals wrote, “Let me suggest that all members 18 years and older be encouraged to commit to start smoking.” That statement led us to this provocative headline on BrotherhoodNews.com, “BICA: Get all saints to start smoking.”
Both the brother who made the statement and those of us at Forthright/GoSpeak believe smoking is an addictive habit that does harm to a Christian’s body, influence, and destiny. We were sure enough of this evil that the brother’s provocative suggestion—which turns out to be none at all—gets the attention it does.
Precisely because smoking is evil, the statement arrests our attention. Jesus used unethical and immoral behavior, such as that of the unfaithful steward, to show us good qualities. So the smoking reference seems to pass muster, since the brother pulls back from any sort of recommendation to ungodly behavior.
The question seems to be if we will let the illustration have its proper impact and change our thinking on committing to support for the Lord’s, and our, mission.